HDR Photography; An Introduction

HDR photography with Shutter speeds.

I was running a bit low on inspiration, so I tried to find new ways of making some of my photography a bit more ‘powerful’. And I found a way! It’s called HDR photography (High Dynamic Range). Which basically means that you can merge several photo’s together to form a single photograph.

Exposure Bracketing

 So for instance; you merge 3 differently exposed pictures into a single photo. Now the first picture will be taken at a shutter speed of say 1/320 seconds, the second at 1/100 second, and the third at 1/20 sec.

This set of photo’s means you have one picture that is over underexposed, one picture taken at the right amount of light, and one that is under overexposed. Merging these photo’s together in a program like  HDR Pro (Adobe Photoshop Cs5/Cs6) gives you a single photo with a very high range of lighting.

These are the steps you need to take if you have Adobe Photoshop;

  1.   Open adobe bridge
  2.   Select the files you wish to merge
  3.   Select tools;
  4.   Select Photoshop>
  5.   Merge to HDR Pro
    1. When in HDR Pro you can adjust settings to make the picture exactly the way you want it.
    2. There are 3 presets;       Monochromatic, Photorealistic and Surrealistic (and many variations within these presets)

So the dark parts of a picture that would normally be vague and without detail can now become very detailed. Giving you a photo in which every part of the photograph has the same amount of detail.

Now there are many ways in which you can vary the settings and amount of detail shown in the final photo, so you can range all the way from surrealistically sharp shot, to an undetailed plastic like photograph.

Now this is a real quick introduction into HDR photography with a few example shots. But you can vary in many more ways than just exposure. For instance you can use ISO, F/ settings, White balance, Colour balance and many more ways of bracketing pictures together into a single HDR photograph.

One last tip; Shoot in RAW if possible, this gives you the best results.

Have fun experimenting!


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